BROWNIE & MEMORIES FROM THE PAST
The older one gets or at least I am speaking for myself, there are times when I
find myself traveling back in time reflecting on my youth of which
some things have stayed in focus in my
“Mind’s eye” although my
regular vision is a little cloudy and need the State Eye Plan prescription
glasses to correct.
One of my all-time favorite dogs was a small brown “Rat Tail Fice”
named Brownie or Beaner and he would respond to either name but used Brownie
most of the time. I believe the Fice is in the Terrier breed but is more or less
a generic name of the dog.
Brownie belonged to my uncle Douglas Ross Coley who lived across the
street and how Brownie came to be my dog I will try and explain. It must have
been around 1957 when I was visiting Doug who had a few too many beers and was
allowing one of his “high dollar” English Setters named Blue to
whip the daylights out of the little dog. I remember separating the
fighting dogs or getting Blue loose from Brownie and from that day on, ole
Brownie was my dog. Brownie would be waiting for my return from school
each day and we would hit the woods almost daily and on the weekends doing what
young chaps that love the outdoors normally do.
Pix of myself and
Brownie around 1962.
Brownie kicked back and taking it easy for sure!
A usual Saturday outing lasted from sun up until the late afternoon hours when
the shadows began to get long and the sun would start it’s evening decent beyond
the western horizon and I would be making fast tracks getting back home and if
it was too late I could hear my Grandma Coley hollering, “Mickey, Mickey” a good
1/4 mile away or at least it sounded that far.
My standard gear for those all day hikes and scouting adventures
was an old US Army olive green back pack, Winchester model 67 .22 caliber rifle,
ammunition, Army folding shovel, pocket knife or sheath knife, small aluminum
coffee pot, thin steel frying pan, metal coffee cup, fork, spoon, knife,
matches, salt, black pepper, small rope or twine, premixed sour dough bread,
eggs, coffee grounds not the instant type, sliced bacon, bread, canteen with
water and a few other snacks depending what was in the pantry at the time.
Around 1962, I carried a bolt action Sears & Roebuck .22 caliber repeating
rimfire rifle instead of the Winchester model 67.
There was one special place several miles from our home named “Carl’s
Mountain” which I believe was owned by the late Dr. Carl Lawson, a Dentist
and in those days no one had to ask or obtain written permission to travel on
his land which bordered some of my Grandma Coley’s land. That land is
currently owned by Shirley Lawson Ratliff of Jacksonville, Alabama.
This is not the Carr's Mount that
was once the Dixie Fairgrounds that later became the Singleton Silk Mill.
A small "slice"
of a topo map of Carl's Mountain....as they say "X" marks the spot at 464
feet above sea level. There is a good 114 feet elevation drop on the right
hand side of "Carl's Mountain" going to the right which has a little
On the summit or plateau on Carl’s Mountain, there was a hand dug well or could
have been a gold mine shaft that was
maybe 15 feet deep by 5 feet in diameter and had been partly filled in with debris over the years
an occasional rabbit or “possum” would get trapped in there and it’s carcass
would be noticed on the next visit. The summit afforded a spectacular view
especially when about 20 feet off the ground in one of the nearby large
oak trees and
on a clear day you could see the outline of Morrow Mountain in Stanly County which
was at least 30 miles away to the North and to the South you could see the old
Singleton Silk Mill Factory which is now occupied by a housing
development and has a large water storage
tank on the ole Silk Mill property. According to my
Grandma "Della" Coley
she stated that the Town of Wadesboro after the closing of the Silk Milk had some
"notions" of erecting an overhead cable car system from the Old Silk
Mill site to the plateau on Carl's Mountain to make a tourists attraction,
however I have never verified that or made any attempt. Elevation wise, at
both places it would appear to be possible to construct although not profitable.
Back in the early 1960's before the saw timber pine trees were harvested there
were numerous apple and peach trees scattered through out the region which adds
some merit to my Grandma's story. Hopefully, I will get a chance to hike
back in there and take some pixs of the plateau for ole times sake.
At or near the plateau adjacent an old logging road, I would clear off an area,
raking the pine needles and leaves back for safety and build a camp fire from dead sticks
and whatever combustible material was available and get a large bed of embers
glowing. On one edge of the camp fire I dug a small depression about eight
inches in diameter and about eight inches deep and once I had a good bed of
red/orange embers glowing with a little bluish tint in the back ground, I would
rake some of the embers into the depression and pour the prepared sour dough mix
on top of the embers and cover the sour dough with more embers and add a light
layer of the dirt removed from the hole and wait on the heat to bake the sour
dough. About 20 minutes later, the dirt and embers would be raked from the
top of the sour dough and the resulting baked bread was called a Cannonball because of
it’s shape and color; leaving the middle edible portion…..go ahead and grin if
you must! While the bread was getting earthen “oven” baked, I would
have the pot of coffee brewing and the bacon frying and finish off with some
scramble eggs. By this time the smell of cooking the bread, bacon and eggs
would have my dog Brownie hanging close by to get his portion of the feast.
Anyone that has not experienced food cooked over an open wood fire enjoying what
Mother Nature has to offer has just missed out of some of Life’s most basic and
simplest forms of enjoyment!
Above pix not from that time frame but around 1978 at Porter's Point
campsite. I can almost hear and smell the crackling of the fire!
Once our breakfast was consumed and the camp fire embers put out it was time to
starting scouting the creeks, stream beds and banks looking for fresh sign of
mink, muskrat and raccoons for the next trapping season.
Brownie was a good "jump" dog for rabbits and ran and treed squirrels mostly
by sight. I still have images of him locking up with squirrels that had
been shot from a tree and still have some life left in them. He had the
constitution of a pit bull and plenty of "grit" but didn't have the size to back
up all that grit and tenacity which earned himself many battle scars.
Pix of Brownie and the ole home place at 1000 Maple Lane and Pops 1947 Ford car:
As I mentioned earlier, my dog Brownie accompanied me about everywhere I went
when outdoors and I will relate an event that happened when I had a live coon
trap set about 4 miles from our home near the Anson County airport. It has
been my nature over the years to overdo many things and the coon live trap was
no exception. This trap was large enough to hold a small bear and had a
drop lid that was controlled by a large rat trap spring/trigger attached to a
movable floor plate pulling a pin allowing the lid to fall, pretty much like a
standard rabbit box and some people call them a rabbit gun. I had to use a
wheel barrow to transport the humongous coon trap and you can imagine the time
and effort required to get this thing 4 miles through woods and across a small
branch aka stream or two. I used canned Mackerel for bait and had it set
for a few days and didn’t catch anything. One of the last times that I
baited the trap, I noticed that ole Brownie was not waiting for me when I got in
from school and he didn’t come when I “hollered” for him, so went without him.
Nothing too eventful happened on the hike to the trap and I remember the
initial excitement when I saw that the lid was down on the coon trap and knew I had
finally at last live trapped Mr. Coon. However, when I got closer to the trap, I noticed
something brown in the trap and low and behold, my dog Brownie was in the trap
anxiously wanting to get out. I can see that rascal as plain as day
sitting in that live trap with a different expression than he normally had.
Sometime during the day ole Brownie decided to go check the trap out and could
not resist the canned Mackerel and remained there until I released him from the
trap. I don’t think I ever caught anything except Brownie in the live trap and
left the trap next to the creek where its wooden frame rotted out several years
Brownie was my faithful companion and the last time I saw him alive was in 1965
when I departed for Morocco, Africa while in the US Navy. My folks sent me some
pictures of him from time to time and I would always ask in a letter how Brownie
was doing. Before I returned home in 1967 from Morocco, Africa I noticed they
did not mention Brownie in their letters.
I later learned that Brownie was seriously injured by one of my Uncle’s bird
dogs and did not recover from his wounds. I am glad I don’t have web cam on
here, because I am getting all choked up just writing about him. Mom
said they would show Brownie a picture of me and it would "perk" him up a
little. Pix below shows the sadness in his eyes or it does anyway to me.
Pets become family members very easy and a lasting bond forms over time.
Family took this pix of Brownie on the
back porch while I was overseas around 1966.
Brownie was my all time favorite dog although our family has owned some good
house and hunting dogs, but there will always be a special place in my
heart, soul and memory for Brownie.
Written by Bill Porter July 4, 2008.
TRUE MEANING OF "COLD TURKEY"
On Thanksgiving Day, it was customary for the Porter family guys to go rabbit
hunting early in the morning and return around noon time to celebrate with our
annual Thanksgiving feast consisting of oven baked turkey, cornbread dressing,
giblet gravy and various veggies and other side dishes, a cake or pie of which
Mom would have a full course meal prepared for us.
I am guessing at the year being 1960, maybe a year or two earlier of which
Thanksgiving Day was on November 24th that year and usually falls on the fourth
Thursday in November. Dad loaded his rabbit hounds of various breeds in
the back of his ole 1957 Ford truck that was painted fire engine red and I know
that Walt Newton, Dad's Uncle, my brother Allen and myself were hunting that day
along with our Dad who we called him "Pop" most of the time.
We planned rabbit hunting a specific area on Joel Price's farm land about 1.2
miles from Savannah Church near where his ole home place was located. Back
then, there were plenty of open fields and pasture land to hunt which has grown
over the many decades since then and most have been planted in Pine trees now.
Click on the below thumbnails pixs taken on 07-06-15 for a larger screen view:
The first thumbnail pix above is a view not far from the summit of Ingram's
Mountain off State Road 1704 named Ingram Mountain Road. The second pix is
Savannah Church near the intersection of Pangy Road S.R. 1743 which use to be
called Grassy Island Road by the locals but the named changed years later. Not too far
from Pangy Road traveling North on Ingram's Mountain Road is the Joel Price
home and farm and the last two pixs on the right show how it looks today. It
appears to be occupied, however after talking with James Price late this
evening, he said Henry Welsh kept the grass cut and he allowed him to hunt with
his Grandson on his track of land on Pangy road this is in front of his Dad's
ole home place. The corn is growing pretty close to the yard too.
The landscape has certainly changed since then those early years of the 1950s
and 1960s, whereas all the farming and open fields are now planted in pines and
shows the evidence of them being recently harvested in places. James
Price, the son of the late Joel and Mary Fannie Price owns 81 acres of land on
Pangy Road across from the ole Price home stead and farm and also owns his Mom
and Dad's home on Ingram Mountain Road encompassing about 50 acres, plus or
minus. Now back to my story.
It would take a good thirty (30) minute drive to get there from 1000 Maple
Lane in Wadesboro and once we got
the dogs unloaded, it wasn't long before they jumped a rabbit and the race was
on. I remember that I was in the right place at the right time when a
large dark colored swamp cottontail rabbit circled back around and came by where
I was standing and the little Winchester model 37a 20 gauge shotgun bellowed and
putting the running rabbit down for the ten count. It was a very large
rabbit and back then I didn't own a hunting coat or jacket but kept my shotgun
shells in my pants pocket or carried my small game in a bag with a sling over my
shoulder. I cut a slit in one of the rabbit's hind legs between the tendon
and the bone and threaded the rabbit leg above the foot onto my belt and wore him by my side.
The rabbit was hanging down past my knee which wasn't too bad to transport him
We continued to hunt through out the morning and I don't remember if anyone
else killed any rabbits or not but that was the only one that I got a shot at
and killed. It was getting late in the morning and about time to start
heading back toward the truck and the more we walked the more unfamiliar the
area looked. There was no question after about another hour of walking
that we were in fact lost and there was a good 2 mile block of territory
that was between Ingram Mountain Road, the Grassy Island Road now called Pangy
Road S.R. 1743, the Pee Dee River
and another private dirt road right before you get to Savannah Creek which is a
huge chunk of
real-estate to get "lost" in. We continued to walk in a straight
line but unbeknown to
us, we were actually walking farther and father away from where we started out
from. It was on late in the afternoon when we finally came out to an ole
wooden farm house and barn that belonged to Dr. Davis that Joel Price leased the
property to graze his cows on and what a relief to recognize a familiar land mark!
After coming out to a know road, I told Pop that I was going to walk the dirt
road back to the main road (Ingram Mountain Road S.R. 1704) and then follow the road going past Joel Price's
dairy farm and back onto Grassy Island Road aka Pangy Road S.R. 1743 near Savannah Church and continue
back to the truck. Walt Newton liked my plan, however Pop and Allen
decided to take the short cut back through that large stretch of property we
were just lost in to get back to the truck. When Walt Newton and myself
finally got back to the main road (Ingram Mountain Road), he sat down and said he wasn't going a step
farther. Walt Newton was several decades older than myself and today, I can
understand about getting tired.
I continued on and finally made it back to the truck and back in those days
you didn't have to lock your doors. Pop and Allen were
not within hollering distance since I tried to get them to answer. After
waiting seem like forever, don't know whether I wore a watch at the time or not, I finally started blowing the truck horn every once in a while until they
finally got within hollering distance.
We loaded up the tired dogs and went and picked up Walt Newton who was one unhappy camper,
totally popped out and disgusted too. I don't think I ever saw Walt Newton
at no time ever crack a grin and that day was certainly no exception!
He always looked like an ole sour puss that someone had
licked the red off his
candy! Below is a picture of Walt and Naun Newton taken at Grandpa and
Grandma Porter's home in Ansonville, NC. I purchased the coat oak hall
tree in the background from Grandma aka Lizzie before she went to the nursing
We arrived back home about supper time and waiting for us was the ruminants
cold turkey that looked like it had
been in a
Nazi concentration camp during WWII, cold giblet gravy and
cold dried cornbread dressing hard as a brickbat with everything else being the same. I can say that Mom
at that time, baked some of the driest turkey that has ever been and if you
coughed while eating the breast meat, I believe there would be turkey dust
expelled in the air like a giant white Cumulus cloud, however Mom thought her oven baked turkey
was the best.....grin if you must! There wasn't anything back then like a
self basting turkey and those cheap turkeys looked like they had been starved
before processing.......another grin is in order!
That was the last time Walt Newton went rabbit hunting with us and he
probably went to the grave remembering how much we walked that day. That
several pound swamp rabbit hanging from my belt felt like it weighted 30 pounds
by the time I walked back to the truck. I definitely haven't forgotten
that experience to this date and that has been a good fifty-five (55) years ago.
Below is a current pix at the end of Pangy Road S.R. 1743 of which we called
it Grassy Island Road back then and today, there is a development on all the
land that borders the Pee Dee River, however I don't think much of it has been
developed due to not having suitable access to the Pee Dee River, available
county water and sewage. Also, Pangy Road is not well maintained with large pieces of
granite stone and rock and ruts and holes in the existing roadbed. You
would have to pay me to attempt to live down there!
Below is a satellite view of the development plat. It is to my
understanding the same development company owned the land across the river near
Mountain Creek which
you can see homes built in the right hand side of the picture which has some
serious elevation from the river and I believe they have Richmond County water
Leave it to good ole Anson County to be sucking hind tit!
The white dots represent the area we hunted and were lost in and the roads
I walked to get back at our starting point which was the lower far right hand
dot was our starting point.
LESSON LEARNED THE HARD WAY SOMETIME IN 1962
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, I wanted a .22 caliber pistol of my
own very badly. I had shot my Uncle Doug's ole Harrington and Richardson
break open 9 shot revolver but it didn't shoot very accurate at all.
Browning Arms had recently come out with three .22 caliber pistols in their line
up and they were called the Challenger, Nomad and Medalists and I started saving
my nickels and dimes for one and asked my Pop if he would get me one and he told
me that I had no business owning a .22 caliber pistol since I already had two
.22 caliber rifles and would probably get hurt with one.
Owning one the right way was now out of the question and I bought an illegal
.22 caliber revolver for six (6) dollars which the street name is a
"Saturday Night Special."
That revolver would not shoot two bullets within a foot or two of each other and
you never knew where the bullet would hit, it was just that inaccurate. I
got rid of it in a trade for something and was on the lookout for something that
would shoot more accurate. I purchased or traded for a single shot pistol
that was made from an old Hamilton .22 caliber single shot rolling block type
rifle that someone had cut the barrel off of which the barrel length was barely
long enough to contain a .22 caliber short bullet and the stock was sawed off as
well. That pistol had a hair trigger, meaning you could about breathe on
it and it would fire.
I remember shooting at the side of an old quail wire and wood cage and the
bullet hit the wood and bounced back and grazed my side/shirt without drawing
any blood. I checked where the bullet hit the wood portion side of the
cage and it hit the cage on the flat side of the bullet instead of the tip of
the bullet hitting first. Well, I certainly was slow on that one and that
should have told me that thing was a piece of junk and an accident waiting to
Several of the young guys in the neighborhood slipped off with myself to do
some shooting one Sunday afternoon and one of them was Buckey Gaddy, now
deceased. While we were leaving, my younger brother Joe, now deceased wanted
to tag along with us and I told him no because I knew he would rat me off to my Mom and
Pop so he wasn't allowed to go with us.
We were at least a mile from the house and I remember sitting on the side of
the hillside and each one of us would take turns shooting that contraption.
I vividly remember today as if it just happened, I was getting ready to shoot
and my younger brother Joe had came up behind us and I looked around to tell him
to get back home when the home made pistol went off. Immediately, my
lower left leg and ankle felt like it was on fire and hurting very bad. I
couldn't walk and the guys had to carry me part of the way and I would try and
walk on one leg with their help. My brother Joe ran home ahead of us and told my Mom
and Dad that I had shot myself and they didn't know how bad or where I was shot
at and one can only imagine their anxiety of not knowing.
I believe Pop drove his car down the road as close as he could get to where
we would exit the woods and it seemed like that mile turned into ten miles for sure.
They drove me to the local hospital and gave me something for pain and I stayed
there a few days since I was in shock and they wanted to give the lead fragments
time to settle down. The next day, the surgeon either
McKinnon or Smithy cleaned out the wound the best they could since the bullet
went into the inside of my left leg about 7 inches above the ankle and the
bullet lodged into the ankle. The soft lead bullet fragmented during the
course of its travel taking some of the pants leg material with it. He
used something like you would clean the bore of a firearm with and believe me it hurt
about as bad as the initial wound except without the element of the burning
My bride to be
came by and visited me while I was in the hospital and that was probably the
best part of the hospital experience. It might have been a good thing that
I was dumb as a fence post with the young ladies, especially my bride to be, otherwise our son would be around 55
instead of 47 years old..........grin if you must!
Well, Pop knew a lot more than I gave him credit for and that was one hard
learned lesson of which I will never forget. While in the US Navy boot
camp at Great Lakes, Illinois, they checked my leg over real good and I could
have gotten out of service due to the injury but I had no desire to do so
because I wanted to get some job skills for later use in life of which I am glad
I didn't wimp out.
Web published the above by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 07-02-15.
MINK TRAPPING IN THE 1960S
The small branch or creek mentioned in the above paragraphs was where I did
my mink and raccoon trapping, however there were very few raccoons traveling the
branch back in the early 1960s when I was putting out a few leg hold traps.
My parents got me a half dozen or so leg hold traps for Christmas probably
around 1962 and wanted to trap a mink very badly.
At the time, I was reading all the trapping manuals and how to articles about
mink trapping from magazines like Fur-Fish-Game, Outdoor Life and Field and
Stream of which Uncle Doug had subscriptions to the Outdoor Life and Field and
Stream and those hand me down magazines sure was some great reading back then.
As I have already eluded to, when I do something, it is usually an
for sure and that seems to have been my MO, (method of operation) from the
start......grin if you must. To validate what I just said; I
was in an Industrial Arts Class aka shop class in the 10th grade in school and I
made enough wooden mink
stretcher boards for someone that was operating a 50
mile long trap line in Alaska in a heavy fur producing area. One uses the wooden stretcher board with
the cased out skin with the fur side in to allow it to properly dry before the
sale of the hide.
Preparing traps for usage, one must boil the traps to degrease them or what method
works for you, then allow
the traps to rust, boil them in something that will dye them black like
logwood chips/crystals and then dip them in clear wax to protect them. It
is imperative that all human scent is removed from the traps, otherwise a wary
animal will smell the human scent and avoid them.
The first winter of trapping the branch/creek across the railroad tracks
about half way to the Anson County Airport, I caught everything but the fur
bearing animals that I was after. Mink and/or muskrat would pull their
foot from the leg hold trap and I finally wised up and had to start using a
drowning set where the animal would not have the opportunity to pull its
leg/foot free. I also made a potent lure during the summer months using
rabbit, placed the rabbit pieces in a quart Mason jar, sealed the lid tight
and let it marinate through out the summer until cold weather when trapping season
After doing my normal pre-season scouting, I found mink sign on the little
branch and found an ideal set location where the water was about 2 to 3 feet
deep and a well used log that spanned the branch with the water below it deep
enough for the drowning set. There was evidence where something had been
eating crayfish and would be a perfect place to put a blind set on the log.
The log was a good 12 inches or more in diameter and I chopped a flat portion
out using my hatchet for my trap and wired the chain to a drowning wire anchored to a rock on the
bottom of the creek. I placed a guide or step stick at each end of the
trap so the animal would have to step over it placing its foot directly onto the trap
pan which would release the trigger holding back the force of the spring loaded jaws of the trap. I
believe I placed a large piece of moss on the trap pan to help conceal it but
not sure of that. I also took some of the home made lure that would knock
your socks off once you took the lid off the Mason jar due to the smell and
placed a few drops on the log to hopefully lure Mr. Mink onto the log to check
the smell out. I am sure I used a much smaller container on the trap line
to hold the lure in than the quart Mason jar!
I believe I checked the set a couple afternoons in a row without anything
disturbing the set and the next time I checked the trap, I noticed the trap was
missing from the log and I could see the tip of the mink's tail floating below
the surface of the water. I was totally elated to have caught my first
mink which was a large male if memory is correct. I case skinned the mink
and removed all the flesh from the skin side and stretched it on one of my many
wood stretcher boards and let it dry. I left the mink hide with Bee Thomas,
my mink trapping mentor
in Burnsville and he got $ 6.00 for it from his fur buyer. I didn't catch
another mink during my time of trapping that creek and it was the challenge to
catch the first one that kept me motivated to trap a mink in the first place.
Trapping is like property sales, location, location, location.
TRAPPING IN THE 1980s
It was not until the early 1980s after I sold my music mail order business
that I started trapping and hunting again when the fur market prices were sky
high. I trapped many raccoons behind our current home on a small branch
Creek that has some pretty good
water and deep holes
about 200 yards from our home.
At that time, we were living on
White Store Road which was a about 1/2 mile from
Moore Street. I would access the creek from my father-in-laws property at the end of Moore
Street of which he lived on the dead end. There were plenty of raccoons since no one was doing any trapping
due to the prior years of very low fur prices and raccoon hunting had declined over the
decades as well in Anson County. I also trapped some on Blewett Falls Lake
but wasn't able to check my traps every morning due to my work schedule and
fellow trappers removed some of my fur for me.......grin if you must!
The trapping was excellent and a large raccoon hide would bring about $ 25.00
each, opossum were bringing $ 5.00 each and otter was $ 50.00 each. Most
of my raccoon sets had a flexible green limb that the animal could drag a ways without a
direct pull on the trap as if anchored to a stake in the ground. I also
caught two large old otters and the largest one was caught by only a single toe
or two and there was evidence he had lost a toe or two in someone else's trap
during his lifetime. The type of flexible limb drag had enough spring or give to it and he
wasn't able to pull his toes free. After catching the first one, a few
days later I caught the female which must have been its mate. Otters
usually have about a 50 mile radius traveling for food and mate for life. I have
seen several otters over the years while bowhunting near Jones Creek near Casons Old
Field, NC and they are a very playful and fun animal to watch. The fur buyers at that time wanted the animals whole and not
skinned since they had their own man doing the skinning using a mechanical hide
puller which was an added bonus too.
Terry James, retired Brick Mason would take a truck load of the frozen fur bearers to his fur buyer and I
earned some good pocket money while the fur prices were at their peak.
Below is a pix of one of the otters, frozen solid when I got him from the leg
Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 07-02-15.
FOX HUNTING WITH HENRY PRICE EARLY 1960s
It is great to have memories from the past stored in our "minds eye"
and also via other forms of media such as photographs, video recordings etc. of
which technology is making it much easier to instantaneously store and retrieve
Going back to this time frame of the early 1960s, I can still vividly see
Henry Price who was my Aunt Hattie Coley's brother who worked for Hedrick Sand
and Gravel in Lilesville, NC managing their water lakes, etc. Henry was a
true outdoorsman if there every was one. He kept a couple dozen or more
fox hounds of all breeds and coonhounds as well and Henry and his wife lived in
a small house located on the Hedrick property.
Douglas Ross Coley and his wife Hattie would take me to Henry's home
and I would spend the night and a day with them and go on an all night fox hunt
during the summer months when school was out and it was usually on a
Henry would turn his dogs loose at the end of the dirt road locals called "Grassy
Island Road" now named Pangy Road not too far from
the Pee Dee River, Blewett Falls Lake in Lilesville. It didn't take his pack
of dogs very long to jump a Grey Fox and the race was on. The fox would make a several mile
loop going all the way up to Ingram's Mountain and would cross the road near
Jerry Ingram's home place. Henry had hunted the area for many decades and
would usually know the location where the fox would normally cross the road.
While the dogs where running the fox, we would get into his car and travel to
where the fox and dogs would cross the road and once in a while we would get
ahead of them and see the fox cross. It was some beautiful music to hear
the pack of dogs running the ole wily fox and Henry could pick out the
individual voices of each dog.
Henry would have a small camp fire going at the end of Grassy Island Road
of which the name has changed to Pangy Road now, where he turned his hounds loose and a large pot of coffee would be brewed and
sipped on the hot coffee to help keep myself awake. I remember the last
time I went with Henry, the sky was crystal clear with the stars peaking from
the Heaven above like small diamonds glittering in the twilight and an awesome
sight. The various sounds of the night that the creatures made was also
mesmerizing with the smell of the wood fire burning sending embers like
miniature fireworks toward the sky. Before day break, Henry would fry out
some bacon or side meat over the glowing embers that had burned down and then
scramble a pile of eggs in the large metal skillet in the bacon grease. We had some regular
white bread and would enjoy that wonderful meal. There is nothing than can
compare to food prepared over an open fire with the smell of the burning wood
and food items which brings your senses to a heightened level of awareness.
Henry rarely wore socks and boots unless there was snow or ice on the ground
and his feet were calloused and impervious to the standard things like rocks and
briars that would do damage to a normal foot......grin if you must! I
remember the locals talking about Henry getting bit by a water moccasin snake
and they said Henry was ok but the snake died...............grin if you must!
All the people mentioned in these few paragraphs are deceased but they live
on in the ole memory bank. I don't have a picture of Henry or his wife but
can still see them clearly.
Web published update on 02-01-14 by Bill aka Mickey Porter.
PIXS OF A FEW OF OUR FAMILY PETS OVER THE YEARS
Good Dog, the most
gentle dog we owned. She was killed by a Lightening Strike near her
running dog line in 1989 or 1990.
White Cat a Fisherman's Cat who had to have the first scale fish
caught. He taste tested the heads only! Most people don't believe
that a house cat will ride on the bow of a boat on the river. I use to
harvest "city squirrels" when living on White Store Road using the CCI mini-cap
bullets which is a 29 grain short bullet with no powder in the case; it fires by
the priming on the inner rim only and a very weak round, very quiet and accurate
to about 15 yards. Now to my story. The cat above would watch me
shoot a squirrel from a pecan tree in the back yard and when it would hit the ground, White Cat would run out to
where it was a grab it in its mouth. On one occasion, I shot a squirrel and it ran from the Pecan
Tree into a nearby tree and lodged in the fork of the tree and White Cat climbed
up the tree like greased lightening and got the squirrel and brought him back
down the tree. I know it is hard to believe but it was a fact!
Buck, I was told his parents were Grand Night Champions, however I
never attempted to register him! I tried to make a
deer blood trail tracking dog out of him but it stopped the first time I
released a live trapped coon in front of him. He would not leave the tree
until the coon was on the ground. He also took "possession" of the tree
too! About 7 or 8 years later, I had to have Buck put to sleep as he had
internal organ cancer and I cried like a baby exiting the vet's office.
Vincent, a real stinker!
Mittens, my bride's cat after caring for him after a broken leg!
Ringtail weighted 26 lbs. when he was nine months old. We
released him back into the wild after biting my bride and myself. Ringtail
was quarantined for a couple weeks since my bride had to have stitches in one of
her legs and Animal Control had to be alerted in case of rabies.
My bride fed ringtail with a baby doll bottle after we took him away from his
mother in June 1980.
I had many other pets, hawks, owls, crows, foxes, etc. growing up but these are the ones that I
have pictures of and they were digitized a
few years ago.
Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 06-13-15, 06-14-15,
07-02-15, 07-06-15 and 07-26-15.